You have a credit card and you want to make the best use of it at all times. To do so, it’s critical to have a clear idea of which purchases to make on your card and which ones are best for another form of payment.
What you purchase on your credit card is based largely on preference, but here are five items that belong on this list:
1. Online Purchases
It goes without saying that you can’t pay with cash or check when shopping online. So, that leaves you with a credit card or debit card.
The primary benefit of a credit card is the protection you receive against merchants who don’t live up to their end of the deal, such as by neglecting to ship your item or sending the wrong item.
Are you booking a hotel room? How about airline tickets? What about a rental car? Using your credit card provides many benefits, especially if there’s a travel rewards program attached to it.
For example, you may receive a higher cash back rate when using your credit card to book travel, which puts additional money in your pocket.
There are also additional perks, such as insurance to protect you in the event of damage to a rental vehicle.
How often do you find yourself filling up at the gas station? It doesn’t matter if it’s once a week, twice a week, or only once a month, using a credit card is beneficial for many reasons.
In addition to the ability to earn rewards – if you have a rewards credit card – you gain protection in the event that your card numbers are stolen (this is a common concern at gas stations).
4. International Purchases
When traveling abroad, it’s not always easy to remain organized in regards to your finances. For example, if you’re only familiar with the United States dollar, converting your cash upon arrival can be complicated.
Using your credit card makes life much easier, since you don’t have to concern yourself with carrying cash. Add this to the fact that many credit cards have no foreign transaction fee, and it’s easy to see why it makes sense.
Tip: using a credit card is typically safer than carrying cash, especially if you’re traveling to an area with a high rate of crime.
5. Expensive Consumer Goods
Are you buying new kitchen appliances? How about furniture or a television? Or maybe a washer and dryer set?
It’s not always easy to purchase expensive consumer goods with cash, so using a credit card makes the most sense.
And if you have a rewards credit card, it’s an even better idea. This allows you to earn points on your expensive purchase, thus making it a bit more tolerable.
Review your budget with an eye toward how you typically use your credit card. This will give you a clear idea of the types of items and services you’re purchasing, thus allowing you to adjust your approach for the better in the future.
If you have a credit card that you’re comfortable using, consider pulling it out any time you have to make one of the purchases above.